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Lapeer teen sues Catholic church and school, claiming a priest raped him 10 years ago

The federal lawsuit claims the priest assaulted him during a spiritual formation session in a teachers lounge
A former student of Bishop Kelley Catholic School in Lapeer filed a lawsuit alleging that a...
A former student of Bishop Kelley Catholic School in Lapeer filed a lawsuit alleging that a priest raped him during a one-on-one session 10 years ago.(WILX)
Published: Mar. 11, 2021 at 12:55 PM EST
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LAPEER, Mich. (WJRT) - A former student of Bishop Kelley Catholic School in Lapeer has filed a federal lawsuit, claiming a priest raped him in a teacher’s lounge 10 years ago.

The student, who was 8 years old at the time, said he attended a one-on-one counseling session in October 2010 with the priest in a teachers lounge. The student claims the priest raped him during the spiritual formation session.

The student, who is now 18 years old, says he did not immediately report the assault because the priest allegedly told him that he had “power with the devil” and would have the student’s mother killed if he talked about the incident.

The lawsuit claims that the student’s mental health deteriorated in the years after the alleged assault. He did not report the incident to anyone until 2018 and filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Wednesday through a Royal Oak law firm.

Bishop Kelley Catholic School, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church of Lapeer, the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit and Archbishop Allen Vigneron all are named as defendants in the 27-page lawsuit. The student is seeking a judgment of whatever the court deems appropriate.

The lawsuit alleges that church and school leaders were negligent in allowing the priest to work directly with children, which violated the student’s rights and inflicted emotional distress on him.

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